DesignUp Deconstruct: Understanding the State of Design-In-Tech, in India & SE Asia

Despite a sizeable Tech industry, and burgeoning population of Designers within Tech in India and SE Asia – a collective story was missing. With DesignUp Deconstruct, we wanted to collate and explore these stories and patterns in much greater detail.

DesignUp DeConstruct turns the spotlight on Design in India – within tech-led organisations and startups, and in companies embracing ‘digital.’ We wanted to deconstruct and reconstruct, and provide a comprehensive India centric perspective.

Amplify voices from India and SE Asia, uncover hidden patterns, understand collective aspirations, and hold a mirror to this young, evolving profession.

Daniel Burka and Padmini Ray Murray, wrote the foreword for the 2019-20 report and it best sums up the study and the outcome.

Data is kind of a big deal.

One of the defining characteristics of the web has been a willingness to share. When we were young designers, we could “view source” and look beneath the surface of any website to deconstruct how it was built. That’s empowering. And, it’s a unifying community-building way of working. A coder in Bihar or designer in California can each look at the underlying architecture and both learn the same lessons about how it was crafted.

Should I invest time and money in a Design education? Should I join a big brand or a risky startup? Should I focus on this aspect of Design or on User Research? Data arms us with confidence to make better decisions.

Designers are the sense-makers in a world which increasingly feels like it doesn’t make sense. They unpack, understand, and strive to make connections while things fall apart. But without data, navigating these worlds of design and technology can feel like wandering around in the fog. We make hundreds of decisions during our careers that will impact us down the road, but in the moment it is hard to know if you are making a good choice. Should I invest time and money in a Design education? Should I join a big brand or a risky startup? Should I focus on this aspect of Design or on User Research? Data arms us with confidence to make better decisions.

This report is important because it helps us shine a light into the fog and find our way, together. Participants shared with honesty and true engagement, in the spirit of openness and collaboration that were the founding principles of the web.

This report is important because it helps us shine a light into the fog and find our way, together. Participants shared with honesty and true engagement, in the spirit of openness and collaboration that were the founding principles of the web. It allows us to see where we’re at, where we’re going, and even where we hope to be in the future by dovetailing perceptions and evidence: vital information for all of us who care about the potential design holds in (and for) India. But despite its local nature, it reflects broader trends as well as preoccupations about Design we see globally: no longer are we only concerned with how people use our products but how they are affected and shaped by them.

Design, and designers, are now irrevocably responsible for much of how the world works, and this self-awareness is vividly clear in the findings of the report which cites a deep concern around a lack of User Research as one of the biggest obstacles to success. It is equally compelling to learn that skill sets that understand context with sensitivity, nuance and responsibility will be in great demand as the industry matures – this was also reflected in the remarkable number of talks at DesignUp this year which reflected on the ethics of what we build and how we build them.

We hope you will find these insights valuable, informative and constructive, maybe even challenging—but know that this report is a snapshot of a community that is willing to share openly, and learn from one another, and understands we are all the better for working in the spirit of community and collaboration.

Padmini Ray Murray & Daniel Burka
February 2020

Download the Report

Printed copies available on Amazon and Flipkart soon. Stay tuned!

About Us

DesignUp started with the idea of raising the design agenda within tech companies and tech-led businesses. To make tech, businesses, products and services thoughtful, human and humane, by Design.

DesignUp is volunteer-driven and community led. There are no full time salaried employees—we all have our day jobs. For us, DesignUp is a passion and unifying force.

Core Team

DesignUp’s core team includes Abhishu, Anindita, Baisam, Dharmesh, Jay, Lucky, Manu, Nikita, Nitesh, Narayan, Prabin, Saloni, Sima, Supriya & Tuhina.

Advisory Board

DesignUp Advisory board, constituted in 2018, has Katja Forbes, Vandana Abraham and V Shivakumar on the team.

 

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